Inspiration is a funny thing, it comes and goes like the tide, always there, ebbs and flows. It’s hard to try and catch it when its on a high. It normally happens to me when I’m stuck at my ‘day job’, doing benign tasks that take little to no imagination to complete. I dream and conjure up ideas of what could be next, what to make, what to teach, what to do. I often end up with so many whats that I end up not actually doing anything when I do have time, because where do you start?
I think that inspiration is wonderful but it’s not the useful on its own, it needs other things before creativity happens. I makes me of think of the fire triangle, for any of you that have done bush craft you make know this: you need oxygen, heat and fuel.
Inspiration is much like the heat, it’s there, keeps our minds warm, ticking over and ideas coming. Oxygen is the drive, motivation. Fuel is purpose.
I’ve spent a lot of time cultivating this idea that creative education needs to be enriched with meaning and free learning, time outdoors and connectivity to the land; but what do I do next if I’m not able to teach all that I discovered. The educational ‘market’ is saturated with like minded people that have years of experience behind them, know the right people and have the right professional leverage to make something of their ideas. For a teacher who is still early in their career vast experience and leverage isn’t something I have yet and am beginning to feel disheartened that my teaching career might be slowing down to a halt because of it. Thousands of new teachers are being churned out every year, how do we begin to stand out amongst the others so that we can actually get that experience under our belts? My students used to give me fuel, they gave me purpose, I learnt from them, I learnt what makes a good teacher, what makes me a good teacher and what they need in order to succeed.
On reflection maybe my all the students I’ve had the pleasure of learning with were both my inspiration, my oxygen and my fuel. Maybe that’s why I have no fire. I have no students right now.